Ted Kennedy's famed policy acumen didn't come out of nowhere: supporting the senator were generations of staffers briefing him on the issues of the day and carrying out the hard work of piecing together legislation. The tough job proved to be a stepping stone for many prominent Washington figures, including Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer and Obama's top domestic political adviser, Melody Barnes. "Teddy's staff was the farm system for the Democratic Party for a generation," Sen. John Kerry, himself a former volunteer on Kennedy's first senate campaign, told The Washington Post. "He was a magnet for brilliant, creative, progressive minds and hard-charging, hard-nosed operatives." Some of his aides stayed with him his entire career: Barbara Souliotis, who he hired for his 1962 campaign, still works in his Boston office and Kennedy's legislative director, Carey Parker, took a job with the senator in 1969.